Last year, Fasnacht was perfectly placed on the calendar as to serve as G’s third birthday celebration. We hardly knew any adults in Basel at that point, much less any kids. We were in our temporary apartment and had no baking tools. We weren’t at all prepared to throw G a party, so we let the city do it.
I wrote pretty extensively about the celebration:
This year, Fasnacht was a little earlier in the month and we did even more celebrating than last year. G participated in a children’s parade with her preschool, we went to Birsfelden’s Fasnacht parade, and went to all three days of Basel’s Fasnacht.
Get ready for confetti. And drums.
Weeks before Basel’s Fasnacht was set to start, this was G:
We were very excited when we found out that her preschool would be participating in a children’s parade in Arlesheim. We were told that the kids would be dressing like lions, so on the day of her parade, I dressed her in tan pants and her brown deer coat and headed on our way.
G and I took the bus to our tram stop. We needed to take the 10 tram away from city center. Totally got on the 11. Both trams are yellow and normally we take the tram toward the city where both trams are running the same route, so it doesn’t matter which one I get on. The 11 came when the 10 should have and I just didn’t even pay attention and got on. Oops! I realized my mistake and got off the 11 as soon as possible. Then had to scramble to find some bus I’d never taken before that could take us to another tram stop to catch the 10… It was rough. Made rougher by the fact that G kept asking, “Why did we get on the wrong tram?”
For some reason, “I made a mistake,” is not an acceptable answer to her (ever), so that was a rough 20 minutes or so.
We made it to the meeting place like 2 minutes late. I was roasting from carrying G and rushing around in my winter coat. It was chilly, but sunny, and anxiety always overheats me.
They handed me G’s lion mask (and an extra for me), a bag of candy, and a bag of confetti. G refused to put on her mask and said she would not throw any candy or confetti.
I was dying.
I put my mask on and finally, finally got her to put hers on. The kids all lined up and we got ready to follow the parade route. (Which was thankfully just around the town square; nothing too long or complicated.)
I will tell you one thing that really surprised me: The other kids all seemed to have lion costumes or at least leopard-print clothing items. We always participated in Spirit Days at G’s old daycare in Peoria. She dressed up for Halloween here even though it’s not much of a thing. I made sure she had a red dress for her Christmas concert because that’s what they asked the kids to wear; very few others were in red. But this time, G seemed barely on theme by comparison. Oh, well; we can’t win them all.
What finally loosened her up was learning the joy of throwing confetti directly at her mom.
Luckily for me, that also translated to her sharing candy with me.
Then she was off! Throwing confetti was the best!
G decided to take a different approach to candy distribution.
The original plan had been for our group to march around the square just once. Fasnacht parades are pretty fluid in that you start and stop and rejoin as you see fit. The kids were having so much fun that we made a second circuit. They ran out of candy, but the kids didn’t really mind only having confetti to throw.
When we were all done, we were given a tasty Brot as a snack and then headed back to the tram.
Here’s a brief summary of our children’s parade experience as captured on Snapchat. The first part was run through the reverse filter; we definitely aren’t speaking a foreign language!
More Fasnacht to come (hopefully soon).